The Kurt Baum collection consists of manuscripts, printed material, photographs, correspondence, audio materials, film and video, legal material, scrapbooks, professional material, financial material, and personal memorabilia.
Manuscripts include a story titled “One Day in My Life” and scores for “Acanthe et Cephise,” “Guglielmo Tell,” and “Guglielmo Tell, Melodramma Tragico in Quattro Atti.”
Printed material in the collection includes several newspaper clippings, programs, musical scores and sheet music, promotional items, several items regarding the New York Metropolitan Opera, and issues of Opera News magazine and Musical America. The programs include items from the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera, the Philadelphia Civic Grand Opera, and elsewhere.
Photographs in the collection include numerous prints of Baum and other singers, as well as headshots, photos of Renata Baum (his wife), and others. Notable figures with photos include Enrico Caruso, Marion Marlowe, Robert Merrill, Jawaharlal Nehru, and Ramon Vinay. The photographs date from the 1940s to the 1990s.
Correspondence in the collection is extensive, dating from 1915 to 1989. It includes personal and professional letters, including several between Kurt and Renata Baum.
Audio material in the collection includes numerous cassette tapes, primarily of Baum singing in various opera productions; these also include some recordings of Maria Callas, Luciano Pavarotti, Dagfin Malm, and other singers. Also present are several reel-to-reel recordings and record albums, primarily of performances by Baum. Productions include Il Trovatore, La Gioconda, Aida, Der Rosenkavalier, Don Giovanni, Lohengrin, and others.
Film and video include VHS and cassette tapes of songs and news programs, along with a few untitled film reels.
Legal material includes various contracts regarding Baum from 1949-1964, lease agreements, release forms, contracts, summons, marriage certificate for Kurt and Renata Baum, passports, certificates of U.S. naturalization and literacy for Kurt and Renata Baum, and a restraining notice against Carl Henry Abraham.
Scrapbooks include several small untitled books, and some titled scrapbooks including “Our Marriage Book” (June 6, 1944), “Mexico” (1941), and “Photographs.”
Professional material includes appointment books and press material.
Financial material includes bankbooks, bank statements, bills, paychecks, receipts, and ledgers.
Personal memorabilia includes various awards and plaques.